Working with a freelance copywriter
Business copywriting is a skill.
As a small business owner, you are insanely busy. If you don't have time to develop this skill yourself, it makes sense to hire an expert copywriter. There are copywriters available to write for your website, newsletters, sales letters, brochures and more.
Today I have the pleasure to speak with Maria Pease, a freelance copywriter who also runs the Freelance-Writing-Success website. Maria has agreed to answer some questions about what to expect when working with a copywriter, from copywriting fees to the work process itself. Thank you, Maria, for taking time to speak with me today.
How long have you been a freelance copywriter?
I decided to become a copywriter ten years ago. I have really been a writer my whole life, but that's when I began my freelance career in copywriting.
How do you charge for your services? What is your copywriting fee?
I prefer to charge a flat rate based on the project, that way the client knows exactly how much the service for that particular project will cost, no surprises. But not all projects can be billed that way, so for those I charge my hourly rate of $65.00 per hour.
I've heard that an advertising copywriter may charge royalties for their copy. Can you tell us a little about different ways copywriters charge for their services, and the pros and cons of those methods?
Most copywriters charge by the project or by the hour. Royalties may be charged if you are ghostwriting a book or for some larger advertising campaign.
What kinds of copy do you usually write for other people? Is it advertising copy, web content, or something else?
I do a lot of web site copywriting right now but also write newsletters, brochures, e-books, manuals and copy that is informational in nature.
Do you specialize in a particular industry, or in a particular type of writing?
I don't specialize in a particular industry, but I do specialize in writing informational copywriting like newsletters, brochures, web copy, manuals and ebook writing. I like the idea of sharing valuable information that is helpful to the reader.
What other kinds of writing do you do?
I write non-fiction e-books as well as mystery novels.
If a small business owner wants to hire someone to write copy, what are some things to look for in a copywriting expert?
A good copywriter listens to the client, asks questions, and studies the materials that exist on what they will be writing copy for. The copywriter must also get as much information as possible about the audience they are writing for, so they can present the material in the best way possible.
What are some objective ways for the buyer to evaluate the finished product? I mean, how do you tell good copy from bad copy?
The advertiser must read ad copy as a client, not the advertiser. If it answers the questions the consumer would ask, in a clear, concise manner, in a voice they understand, that's good copy.
How can a client keep their costs low? For instance, are there things they can do before they contact you to make the process go faster and thus reduce their costs?
Yes, the client should ask themselves:
- Who is the audience?
- What are the features and benefits of the product or service?
- What is the unique selling proposition (USP)?
It's a good idea to think about these questions before hiring a copywriter.
Please tell us about your process, and what a client can expect when they work with you?
I like to set up a meeting first (either face to face or by e-mail-or phone) so I can ask questions, listen to what the client is looking for, and gather information about the product or service, do interviews, and get a full picture of the project. Then, I will go back to my office and figure out how long it will take and price the project. Once I quote a price and it is accepted, agreements are signed and I get to work, calling the client if I need further information as I work.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone who pays on-time, can tell me clearly what she wants, is civil, and lets me do my job. It's also nice if she stays in contact with me. I like to work with my clients as part of a team. We all have the same goals, so working this way makes it much more gratifying.
What other advice do you have for a small business owner about hiring and working with copywriters?
They should understand that copywriters are professionals. We work hard and want to do our best for them. If they look good, we look good. Don't be afraid to ask for a meeting to see if the copywriter would be a good fit.
Maria offers a variety of copywriting services for small business owners. You can contact her at email@example.com or http://www.freelance-writing-success.com and http://www.mariapease.com